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Dreaming of a "Green" WYO Christmas

December 12, 2006

Cheyenne, WY - Lighting that house up to look like a casino this year for Christmas? People tend to use more electricity during the holiday season, both directly and indirectly. But making a few modifications can mean more cash in your pocket, and also benefit the environment, according to Sierra Magazine lifestyles editor Jennifer Hattam.

"There's definitely a lot more energy used during the holidays because a lot of people leave their holiday lights on all day, or most of the day."

She suggests using light-emitting diodes (LEDs), available as holiday lights and sold in the same places as other types of lights. They're a little more expensive to purchase, but can save Wyomingites up to $50 on electricity bills.

Hattam says recycling also should play a bigger role during Christmas. She suggests wrapping gifts in recyclable papers, or try more creative alternatives: maps, children's artwork, sheet music or newspaper comics, to name a few. Christmas trees can be recycled by many cities, and used for mulch. And Hattam adds old electronic equipment, like cell phones or television sets that are replaced by new gifts this time of year, should be recycled, too.

"The ones that can't be refurbished because they're too old are recycled in an environmentally friendly way so that the toxics in the electronic parts don't go into landfills."

More tips for a "greener" holiday are available online, at www.sierraclub.org/Christmas.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WY